Conor McDavid hasn’t scored in his last four games, Leon Driesitl angered a reporter, Mikko Koskinen conceded goals by the ton: That’s basically what happens these days at the Edmonton Oilers, at the heart of a seven-game rarity.
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Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers was sore again. Alberta were humiliated 6-0 in front of their fans, including some who expressed their disgust by throwing their favorite jerseys onto the rink at Rogers Place. However, McDavid’s squad was well positioned before this terrible sequence and observers at the time wondered how to stop Number 97 and his cohorts.
However, the Oilers are out of the playoff picture, even if they make several games on hand over their opponents. They still have plenty of time to close the eight-point difference on the clubs last pass scored from the Western Conference, but they still have to find a way to win.
“This is a real test of leadership,” admitted defender Darnell Nurse, as reported by NHL.com. It’s easy to be a leader when your list is 9-1 or 16-5 and to be the stark guy who brings people together. For now, the task of getting out of this mess is a test for all the leaders on our team. Getting out of that is what will make our band even better. We have to show off our work hats every day. It’s the only way to achieve that.”
Defender Duncan Keith, for his part, insisted on the importance of playing well throughout the matches. Recently, head coach Dave Tibbett’s side had some moments of distraction for a few minutes, costing goals and victories.
“It was a good start [face aux Panthers] And when he took over, we were trying to chase them. The former Chicago Blackhawks admitted that no matter who you’re up against and what game you’re playing, it’s always difficult to come back. Given how events are currently unfolding it has been very challenging and frustrating, but it is up to us to do everything we can to find a way to stay in the fight during these meetings and to keep the score close.
on the carpet
Expectations have been very high in Edmonton this season. The sweep that was ceded by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the last series has been poor among the crowd and the current streak of losses is unlikely to quell their anger. Also, Tippett is increasingly at the center of the dismissal rumors. Does he have answers to many questions from the public and journalists? The manager in question is counting on maximum effort from his men for better days.
“Losing hurts. We have to keep fighting through this. We’ve been working all week. For many of the aspects we’ve adjusted, we haven’t had results. We found ourselves running late and had to try and catch up,” he told the Edmonton Sun daily.
Among these aspects that must be improved is the numerical inferiority. In the last 15 meetings, Oilers have given up 17 times less than a man.
“Selling penalties is like scoring goals. When you count, you feel you can keep going. When you go through a penalty, you think you can do the job. There, we can’t stop the bleeding. We’re running all over the place, lacking a bit of structure, like the rest of our game.”
The Oilers host the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
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